Goodbye 2020, you were life changing. And even though I am happy to bid you farewell, I am also grateful for some things that happened.
This is my sixth consecutive year conducting a personal annual review and setting goals for the coming year. I take time to examine what worked well and what fell short. I think about different areas of my life, what I would like to continue doing and what I would like to change. The goals I set for the new year guide my actions and choices each month. This process grounds me and keeps me focused on what I value.
In 2020, I felt more successful in achieving my goals than in any previous year.
This is amazing and I feel great about it. But on some levels, this also makes me uncomfortable. I’m grateful for the shifts and movement in my life, yet I feel a little weird about it all because 2020 on the whole has been terrible for humans.
There was so much to feel bad about in 2020. The highlight reel is frightening and discouraging. The year was literally deadly on a huge, unimaginable scale. Every week seemed to bring a new tragedy or trauma. Our country lacked leadership and society as a whole lacked responsibility. We confronted disease, death, unemployment, economic crisis, systemic racism, natural disasters and more.
So, how did I experience personal progress and growth in a year like this?
My satisfaction with my year is in large part a result of the enforced slow down. Instantly there were less obligations; no social events, no haircuts, no dentist, no gym, no errands, no commuting and the list goes on. There was more time in my day and more space in my mind. That new found time and space slowly organized itself into slow and steady progress on the things that I had defined as important to me.
I’ve always accepted the reality that I will die, but the pandemic took this truth and changed my approach to how I spend my limited time on earth. As I head into 2021, every choice I make about how I spend my time is sent through the filter of what I value. As a result, my choices leave me more content with my life.
I feel cautious toward 2021. I see no evidence of a quick change in our current circumstances. To my mind, things could get worse before they get better. But, I also move into 2021 more sure of myself and my choices. For me, this past year was clarity, and I’m grateful.
I like to choose a theme or word for the year. For 2021, my theme is Nourish. This word inspires me to give all the areas of my life the things they need to grow. And it is my reminder to take the time to nourish myself with rest, solitude, indulgences and a little extravagence.
However you feel about leaving 2020 behind, I hope you find strength and resilience to face what comes and live your values.